Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reminiscence from 2014 : Enchanting Scenery from Belitong Indonesia Part I

Welcomed by this pretty scenery at Tanjung Kelayang Beach

Turquoise beaches, the warmth of the sun and sand’s color, the smile of local residences and the blue skies, all blended with the beauty, offered picturesque landscape scenery which was successfully made me speechless with outstanding admiration.

I went to Belitong for Christmas holiday, Belitung or in English you could say Biliton is an Island on the east coast Sumatera, Indonesia. This island has known for its tin, coffee and pepper. Belitung was in the possession of the British from 1812 until the British ceded control of the island to the Dutch in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Its main town is Tanjung Pandan* (The west of Belitung). It’s also started to become popular in Indonesia (even the world) since one of Indonesian- great movie “Laskar Pelangi” or “The Rainbow Troops” firstly released in local cinemas in 2008. The movie adapted from a novel “Laskar Pelangi” by the author Andrea Hirata, a true story about a group of children living in rural area (which is here in Belitung) who live with limitations especially in education and finally reach their dreams. Since the movie first playing, people start to come to Belitung because of it’s magnificent beaches seen in the movie, which has been turned local tourism.

I went there with friends, without good preparation (because the busy of year end job :D). It’s hard to finally get a car rent, hotel to stay and somebody who could take us for hopping the islands, but thank God we made it well. We started from Tanjung Kelayang Beach for hopping island and hop to Lengkuas Island on the first day, all the way to get there, we’re all welcomed by enchanting sceneries. The turquoise ocean and beautiful stones combined solidly, it looks like heaven here, seriously... It needs about 30 - 45 minutes to get to Lengkuas Island.

L.I Enhoven Lighthouse at Lengkuas Island

What you we could see in Lengkuas is an old-lighthouse named L.I Ethoven Lighthouse-which firstly built in 1882 during the Dutch colonial era. The tower has 50 m high with 18 levels, is it possible to get the top level of the lighthouse? Yes, we could get inside by paying IDR 5,000/person. Make sure you have take off your shoes and clean your feet before get in. It’s not that easy to reach the top of the lighthouse, because it’s exhausting to pass 18 stages! But it’s all paid off with the idyllic view from the top! It’s heartbreaking, I mean it…

In Lengkuas Island, you also could see the small museum showing the history of the Colonial era in Belitung and turtle sanctuary, you could swim at the beach or you can just sit with rented mats/pads from local residences. Go for about 400m far from the beach, go down for snorkeling! Aha! This one is my fav, I want to see how about the underwater, and oke it’s beautiful too.

Selfie above the top of The Lighthouse

The sceneries from above

From Lengkuas Island, we started to hop-hop to other islands, like Big Pig Island (Pulau Babi Besar)-where there is a restaurant with music and beers, they even have Baileys and any other liquors which is good ;). Off course the meals is not cheap, you could bring the meals bought at Tanjung Kelayang before you sail away and enjoy it here for saving purpose, it’s more cheap. To have your seat, you just have to pay about IDR 10,000/per person- you can have free coffee and tea.

We continue to hop to Little Pig Island (Pulau Babi Kecil) – which looks like Spongebob Island, the island is quite small with just inhabitant by Coconut Trees and small plants covered by the stones. But the beach is…ah! Lovely turquoise scenery…we swam for many hours here and playing with Patrick, I mean the starfish which found a lot at the beach.

The Spongebob Island :D

Content to play in Little Pig Island, we get back to Tanjung Kelayang by passing The Rock Sailing Island (Pulau Batu Berlayar) which is the stones looks like the sail blown by the wind.

Return back to Tanjung Kelayang, where we parked our car, you could sit at the beach or local stall enjoying the afternoon breeze with coconut for your meals. This was a good moment we had, when we talked with local, inadvertently we met somebody told us about Belitung, his name is Agus Pahlevi. Agus is so kind and gave us so much briefs, mentioned many spots we should visit. Later we knew that he is one of important person in Belitung, a tour leader, a well-known tourism practitioner who has been growing the tourism in Belitung. We’re so lucky by meeting him.

I couldn’t stop gasped seeing how pretty the beaches and the warmth of local residences told us not only about the general things of each place but they also passionate to bring us to the old era of Belitung. This moment made our day! 

To pretty to be ignored, Sunset from the beach!

To be continued 

Fly with Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, Sriwijaya or Lion Air from Jakarta or Medan to Tanjung Pandan, Belitung
Car Rent : IDR 250,000/day Toyota Avanza, driver, parking and fuel not included
Budget Hotel : IDR 200,000 - 400,000/night
Boat to Lengkuas Island : IDR 500,000/trip/day/boat

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